Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden
October 24, 2019 – September 7, 2020
Viewers are both witnesses and participants in the newest incarnation of Pat Steir’s artistic project, a distillation of her distinctive 50-year journey as a painter. Pat Steir: Color Wheel is an installation of 30 towering canvases that line the circular perimeter wall of the inner second floor gallery at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden. Spanning nearly 400 linear feet, this body of work took ten months to realize and represents Steir’s largest painting installation to date. The epic scale of the installation as a whole is juxtaposed with a more pared down and reductive painted vocabulary than Steir has ever used before. On view through September 7, 2020, the Hirshhorn show follows on the heels of another ambitious presentation that Steir made at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia from January to November of last year. Composed of eleven 7- foot-tall oil paintings spread across two walls of the Annenberg Court, Steir’s Silent Secret Waterfalls: The Barnes Series was the first site-specific installation of paintings ever to be commissioned for this space.
Pat Steir loves being a painter. She studied graphic design, printmaking, and painting at Pratt Institute in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when Abstract Expressionism prevailed.